More discussion scheduled next week in Fresno
SACRAMENTO – An effort to secure additional federal funding for specialty crops was one of the highlights of a recent meeting in Sacramento of state agriculture departments from around the nation, and is a topic that will receive additional discussion next week at a listening session in Fresno.
Secretaries, directors and commissioners from WASDA, the Western Association of State Departments of Agriculture, have agreed to a resolution calling for continued funding for specialty crops in the 2004 Agricultural Appropriations Bill.
“There is a huge benefit to funding specialty crops,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “We have already shown that these moneys can be utilized to benefit a large cross-section of agriculture. Additional funding would allow us to build on our momentum.”
In 2001, California received $64 million out of more than $130 million in specialty crop appropriations; money that was used to help establish Governor Davis’ Buy California Initiative, a multi-faceted program that has assisted agriculture with advertising, promotion, research and education.
The resolution for funding in 2004 calls for a base sum to be distributed to all states, plus additional moneys in proportion to the value of specialty crop production in each state.
The listening session, which will be hosted by Central Valley Congressman Dennis Cardoza, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 13 at the Fresno City Hall Council Chambers.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814